Drought and a Prayer for Mercy

14 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah regarding the (A)drought:

“Judah mourns
And (B)her gates languish;
Her people sit on the ground (C)in mourning garments,
And the (D)cry of Jerusalem has ascended.
Their nobles have (E)sent their [a]servants for water;
They have come to the (F)cisterns and found no water.
They have returned with their containers empty;
They have been (G)put to shame and humiliated,
And they (H)cover their heads,
Because the (I)ground is [b]cracked,
For there has been (J)no rain on the land.
The (K)farmers have been put to shame,
They have covered their heads.
For even the doe in the field has given birth only to abandon her young,
Because there is (L)no grass.
The (M)wild donkeys stand on the bare heights;
They pant for air like jackals,
Their eyes fail
Because there is (N)no vegetation.
Though our (O)wrongdoings testify against us,
Lord, act (P)for the sake of Your name!
Our (Q)apostasies have indeed been many,
We have (R)sinned against You.
(S)Hope of Israel,
Its (T)Savior in (U)time of distress,
Why are You like a stranger in the land,
Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?
Why are You like a confused person,
Like a warrior who (V)cannot save?
Yet (W)You are in our midst, Lord,
And we are (X)called by Your name;
Do not leave us!”

10 This is what the Lord says to this people: “So much they have (Y)loved to wander; they have not (Z)restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does (AA)not accept them; now He will (AB)remember their wrongdoing and call their sins to account.” 11 So the Lord said to me, “(AC)Do not pray for a good outcome on behalf of this people. 12 When they fast, I am (AD)not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer (AE)burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather, I am going to (AF)put an end to them by the (AG)sword, famine, and plague.”

False Prophets

13 But I said, “Oh, Lord [c]God! Behold, the prophets are telling them, ‘You (AH)will not see a sword, nor will you have famine; on the contrary, I will give you lasting (AI)peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “The (AJ)prophets are prophesying falsehood in My name. (AK)I have neither sent them nor commanded them, nor spoken to them; they are prophesying to you a (AL)false vision, divination, futility, and the deception of their own [d]minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the prophets who are prophesying in My name, although it was not I who sent them—yet they keep saying: ‘There will be no sword or famine in this land’—(AM)by sword and famine those prophets shall meet their end! 16 And the people to whom they are prophesying will be (AN)thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and there will be no one to (AO)bury them—neither them, nor their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters. For I will (AP)pour out their own wickedness upon them.

17 You will say this word to them,
(AQ)Let my eyes stream down tears night and day,
And let them not cease;
For the virgin (AR)daughter of my people has been crushed with a mighty blow,
With a sorely (AS)infected wound.
18 If I (AT)go out to the country,
There are those killed by the sword!
Or if I enter the city,
There are diseases from famine!
For (AU)both prophet and priest
Have wandered around in the land that they do not know.’”

19 Have You completely (AV)rejected Judah?
Or have [e]You loathed Zion?
Why have You stricken us so that we (AW)are beyond healing?
We (AX)waited for peace, but nothing good came;
And for a time of healing, but behold, terror!
20 We (AY)know our wickedness, Lord,
The wrongdoing of our fathers, for (AZ)we have sinned against You.
21 Do not despise us, (BA)for the sake of Your own name;
Do not disgrace the (BB)throne of Your glory.
Remember and do not annul Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the [f](BC)idols of the nations who (BD)give rain?
Or can the heavens grant showers?
Is it not You, Lord our God?
Therefore we (BE)wait for You,
For You are the one who has done all these things.


  1. Jeremiah 14:3 Lit little ones
  2. Jeremiah 14:4 Lit shattered
  3. Jeremiah 14:13 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  4. Jeremiah 14:14 Lit heart
  5. Jeremiah 14:19 Lit Your soul
  6. Jeremiah 14:22 Lit futilities

Judgment Must Come

15 Then the Lord said to me, “Even (A)if (B)Moses and (C)Samuel were to (D)stand before Me, My [a]heart would not be [b]with this people. (E)Send them away from My presence and have them go! And it shall be that when they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you are to tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“Those destined (F)for death, to death;
And those destined for the sword, to the sword;
And those destined for famine, to famine;
And those destined for captivity, to captivity.”’

And I will (G)appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the Lord: “the sword to kill, the (H)dogs to drag away, and the (I)birds of the sky and the animals of the earth to devour and destroy. I will (J)make them an object of terror among all the kingdoms of the earth because of (K)Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.

“Indeed, who will have (L)pity on you, Jerusalem,
Or who will (M)mourn for you,
Or who will turn aside to ask about your welfare?
You who have (N)forsaken Me,” declares the Lord,
“You keep (O)going backward.
So I will (P)stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;
I am (Q)tired of relenting!
I will (R)winnow them with a winnowing fork
At the gates of the land;
I will (S)bereave them of children, I will destroy My people;
(T)They did not [c]repent of their ways.
Their (U)widows will be more numerous before Me
Than the sand of the seas;
I will bring against them, against the mother of a young man,
A (V)destroyer at noon;
I will suddenly bring down on her
Shock and horror.
She who (W)gave birth to seven sons withers away;
[d]Her breathing is labored.
Her (X)sun has set while it was still day;
She has been (Y)shamed and humiliated.
So I will (Z)turn over their survivors to the sword
Before their enemies,” declares the Lord.

10 (AA)Woe to me, my mother, that you have given birth to me
As a (AB)man of strife and a man of contention to all the land!
I have not (AC)lent, nor have people lent money to me,
Yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said, “I will certainly (AD)set you free for purposes of good;
I will certainly make the (AE)enemy plead with you
In a time of disaster and a time of distress.

12 “Can anyone smash iron,
(AF)Iron from the north, or bronze?
13 I will give your (AG)wealth and your treasures
As plunder (AH)without cost,
For all your sins
And within all your borders.
14 Then I will make your enemies bring your possessions
Into a (AI)land that you do not know;
For a (AJ)fire has been kindled in My anger,
And it will burn upon you.”

Jeremiah’s Prayer and God’s Answer

15 (AK)You know, Lord;
Remember me, take notice of me,
And (AL)take vengeance for me on my persecutors.
Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away;
Know that (AM)for Your sake I endure reproach.
16 Your words were found and I (AN)ate them,
And Your (AO)words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;
For I have been (AP)called by Your name,
Lord God of armies.
17 I (AQ)did not sit in a circle of revelers and celebrate.
Because of Your hand upon me I sat (AR)alone,
For You (AS)filled me with indignation.
18 Why has my pain been endless
And my (AT)wound incurable, refusing to be healed?
Will You indeed be to me (AU)like a deceptive stream
With water that is unreliable?

19 Therefore, this is what the Lord says:
(AV)If you return, then I will restore you—
(AW)You will stand before Me;
And (AX)if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become [e]My spokesman.
They, for their part, may turn to you,
But as for you, you are not to turn to them.
20 Then I will (AY)make you to this people
A fortified wall of bronze;
And though they fight against you,
They will not prevail over you;
For (AZ)I am with you to save you
And rescue you,” declares the Lord.
21 “So I will (BA)rescue you from the hand of the wicked,
And I will (BB)redeem you from the [f]grasp of the violent.”


  1. Jeremiah 15:1 Lit soul
  2. Jeremiah 15:1 Lit toward
  3. Jeremiah 15:7 Lit turn back from
  4. Jeremiah 15:9 Or She has breathed out her soul
  5. Jeremiah 15:19 Lit as My mouth
  6. Jeremiah 15:21 Lit palm

Distresses Foretold

16 The word of the Lord also came to me, saying, “You shall not take a wife for yourself nor have sons or daughters in this place.” For this is what the Lord says concerning the sons and daughters born in this place, and concerning their (A)mothers who give birth to them, and their (B)fathers who father them in this land: “They will (C)die of deadly diseases, they (D)will not be mourned or buried; they will be like (E)dung on the surface of the ground. And they will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the (F)birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth.”

For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house of (G)mourning, or go to mourn or to console them; for I have (H)withdrawn My peace from this people,” declares the Lord, “and My (I)favor and compassion. Both (J)great people and small will die in this land; they will not be buried, people will not mourn for them, nor will anyone (K)make cuts on himself or have his head (L)shaved for them. People will not (M)break bread in mourning for them, to comfort anyone for the dead, nor give them a cup of consolation to drink for anyone’s father or mother. Moreover, you shall (N)not go into a house of feasting to sit with them to eat and drink.” For this is what the Lord of armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I am going to (O)eliminate from this place, before your eyes and in your time, the voice of rejoicing and the voice of joy, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride.

10 “Now it will happen that, when you tell this people all these words, they will say to you, ‘(P)For what reason has the Lord declared all this great disaster against us? And what is our wrongdoing, or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 Then you are to say to them, ‘It is (Q)because your forefathers have abandoned Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and have followed (R)other gods, and served and worshiped them; but they have abandoned Me and have not kept My Law. 12 You too have done evil, even (S)more than your forefathers; for behold, each one of you is following the (T)stubbornness of his own (U)evil heart, without listening to Me. 13 So I will (V)hurl you off this land to the (W)land which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers; and there you will (X)serve other gods day and night, because I will show you no compassion.’

God Will Restore Them

14 (Y)Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives, who (Z)brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 15 but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the (AA)land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.

16 “Behold, I am going to send for many (AB)fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will fish for them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they will (AC)hunt them (AD)from every mountain and every hill and from the clefts of the rocks. 17 (AE)For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, (AF)nor is their wrongdoing concealed from My eyes. 18 I will first repay them (AG)double for their wrongdoing and their sin, because they have (AH)defiled My land; they have filled My inheritance with the carcasses of their (AI)detestable idols and their abominations.”

19 Lord, my (AJ)strength and my stronghold,
And my (AK)refuge in the day of distress,
To You the (AL)nations will come
From the ends of the earth and say,
“Our fathers have inherited nothing but (AM)falsehood,
Futility, and [a](AN)things of no benefit.”
20 Can a person make gods for himself?
But they are (AO)not gods!

21 “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—
This time I will (AP)make them know
My [b]power and My might;
And they will (AQ)know that My name is the Lord.”


  1. Jeremiah 16:19 Lit there is nothing profitable in them
  2. Jeremiah 16:21 Lit hand

The Deceitful Heart

17 The (A)sin of Judah is written with an (B)iron stylus;
With a diamond point it is (C)engraved on the tablet of their hearts
And on the horns of [a]their altars,
As they remember their (D)children,
So they remember their altars and their [b](E)Asherim
By (F)green trees on the high hills.
(G)Mountain of Mine in the countryside,
I will (H)turn over your wealth and all your treasures as plunder,
Your high places for sin throughout your borders.
And you will, even of yourself, (I)let go of your inheritance
That I gave you;
And I will make you serve your (J)enemies
In the (K)land which you do not know;
For you have (L)kindled a fire in My anger
Which will burn forever.

This is what the Lord says:
(M)Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind
And makes (N)flesh his [c]strength,
And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
For he will be like a (O)bush in the desert,
And will not see when prosperity comes,
But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness,
A (P)land of salt that is not inhabited.
(Q)Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose (R)trust is the Lord.
For he will be like a (S)tree planted by the water
That extends its roots by a stream,
And does not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of (T)drought,
Nor cease to yield fruit.

“The (U)heart is more (V)deceitful than all else
And is desperately (W)sick;
Who can understand it?
10 I, the Lord, (X)search the heart,
I test the [d]mind,
(Y)To give to each person according to his ways,
According to the [e]results of his deeds.
11 As a partridge that hatches eggs which it has not laid,
So is a person who (Z)makes a fortune, but unjustly;
In the middle of his days it will abandon him,
And in [f]the end he will be a (AA)fool.”

12 (AB)A glorious throne on high from the beginning
Is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, the (AC)hope of Israel,
All who (AD)abandon You will be put to shame.
Those who turn [g]away on earth will be (AE)written down,
Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, that is the Lord.
14 (AF)Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
(AG)Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my (AH)praise.
15 Look, they keep (AI)saying to me,
“Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come now!”
16 But as for me, I have not hurried away from being a shepherd following after You,
Nor have I longed for the disastrous day;
(AJ)You Yourself know that the utterance of my lips
Was in Your presence.
17 Do not be a (AK)terror to me;
You are my (AL)refuge in a day of disaster.
18 Let those who persecute me be (AM)put to shame, but as for me, (AN)let me not be put to shame;
Let them be dismayed, but let me not be dismayed.
(AO)Bring on them a day of disaster,
And crush them with double destruction!

The Sabbath Must Be Kept

19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the [h]public gate, through which the kings of Judah come in and go out, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and say to them, ‘(AP)Listen to the word of the Lord, you (AQ)kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all inhabitants of Jerusalem who come in through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: “(AR)Take care for yourselves, and (AS)do not carry any [i]load on the Sabbath day or bring anything in through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 You shall not bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day (AT)nor do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I (AU)commanded your [j]forefathers. 23 Yet they (AV)did not listen or incline their ears, but (AW)stiffened their necks so as not to listen or accept discipline.

24 “But it will come about, if you (AX)give your attention to Me,” declares the Lord, “to (AY)bring no load in through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, (AZ)but to keep the Sabbath day holy by doing no work on it, 25 (BA)then there will come in through the gates of this city kings and officials (BB)sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their officials, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and this (BC)city will be inhabited forever. 26 They will come in from the (BD)cities of Judah and from the areas surrounding Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the (BE)lowland, from the hill country, and from the (BF)Negev, bringing burnt offerings, sacrifices, grain offerings, and frankincense, and bringing sacrifices of thanksgiving to the house of the Lord. 27 But (BG)if you do not listen to Me, to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load and coming in through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then (BH)I will set fire to its gates, and it will (BI)devour the palaces of Jerusalem and (BJ)not go out.”’”


  1. Jeremiah 17:1 As in ancient versions; MT your
  2. Jeremiah 17:2 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  3. Jeremiah 17:5 Lit arm
  4. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit kidneys
  5. Jeremiah 17:10 Lit fruit
  6. Jeremiah 17:11 Lit his
  7. Jeremiah 17:13 Lit away from Me
  8. Jeremiah 17:19 Lit gate of the sons of the people
  9. Jeremiah 17:21 Or burden
  10. Jeremiah 17:22 Lit fathers

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